Author Brenda Nixon & Parenting Teens from Another Culture

Brenda Nixon

I have enjoyed reading many Amish romances and have invited many “Amish” authors to be my guests here. But all of us know human nature, its dark side which can pervert God’s message of love and forgiveness and substitute rules and punishment. It happens outside of the Amish culture and unfortunately inside also.

Author Brenda Nixon has firsthand experience of young people who have fled from harsh parents and legalistic churches that remind me of the Pharisee’s that Jesus railed against. I hope you’ll pray for young people caught in these harsh situations, not the norm for Amish families I’m sure. Here’s Brenda:

“Parenting” TEENS from another culture

He slipped out of his darkened farmhouse one night. Running down a small country road, he cried wondering “who would take care of me.” Yet the determination to leave his life and traditions behind overpowered his fears of the unknown.

Months later he and I met. Through a series of conversations, I became acquainted with Mosie, a.k.a. Moses. He was eighteen years young, impulsive, passionate, hardworking, and complex – not unlike the culture he left.

With his help I learned about his upbringing as an extremely conservative Swartzentruber Amish. With my help, he was “mothered” and taught the ways of our world – jobs, insurance, cars, discernment in dating, and how much God loved him.

Often admired. Misunderstood. Mysterious. I’ve learned to know and understand inside the conservative Amish Orders from Mosie and the many other formers I know. Most left Swartzentruber – the strictest and most punitive – and a handful of conservative Old Order Amish. Predominantly guys but a few gals have come through my home and heart.

Taking in a teenager from another culture – and a boy, I raised girls – was like walking into a snowstorm. I learned that he was taught to be stoic. Withhold his emotions. Our home encourages family members to recognize and release emotions.

He was taught to bathe once a week and never go to an outside – English – dentist. My husband and I taught our daughters to care for their bodies with daily hygiene practices and bi-annual dentist visits. He was brought up to believe that deliberate inattention to the body was proof of righteousness.

I grew up with loving, Christian parents. I sat through many church services as a child hearing about God’s grace and forgiveness. How God desires relationship with us. Mosie grew up attending church services in German – his least understood language. His sermons always included the wrath of God. His suspicious supervision. His punishment for breaking Church rules.

All these and other differences made for a challenging task but one God put in my home. And I grew to love that boy. He called me, “Mama,” and I felt affection for him like he was my own kid.

Mosie was the first. After him God brought ex-Amish Harvey, Josh, Sarah, Monroe, Noah, Levi, Uriah, Uria, Andy, and others into our home and hearts.

Some lived with us. Others passed through with a meal and  “Mom” hugs. A few needed a financial boost. I don’t know why God brought this cultural learning curve into my life at a time when my daughters were grown and my husband and I were empty-nesters. But I’m grateful He trusted me with His dear children. Those who needed to know that God is gracious, loving, forgiving, and desires relationship with his creation.

After a few years and pleas from friends, I put pen to paper and began blogging about my experiences and what I’d learned.  The blog received 2014 Blog of the Year at Book Fun Magazine. The blog evolved into a book, Beyond Buggies and Bonnets: Seven true stories of former Amish.

Like “parenting” teens with different upbringing and parental values, giving birth to the book has been a resistant challenge. From publisher rejections to false allegations from fiction authors, I’ve persisted in providing a deeper understanding of the complex Amish culture. Maybe it’ll crack open the door to recognizing and respecting the great diversity, and to pray for those who need to experience a God of love.”–Brenda

Beyond Buggies

To purchase this book, click here. Beyond Buggies and Bonnets: Seven true stories of former Amish

For more online:

Brenda, thanks for sharing your experiences with these teens. And thanks for offering a free copy of the Ebook edition of your book. If you’d like to enter the drawing for this ebook, here’s the QUESTION: Have you ever dealt with a Christian that was a stumbling block to others? Don’t name names please, but how did you handle this?–Lyn

PS-I visited Brenda’s blog and read this interesting article on Amish teens and cell phones & even Facebook!


About Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote welcomes other authors to her "Strong Women, Brave Stories" blog to share stories of women who triumph over the challenges common to all women.
This entry was posted in Book Giveaway, New Book Release, Personal story, Plain People and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Author Brenda Nixon & Parenting Teens from Another Culture

  1. tracey myers says:

    After reading this blog makes me want to do mission work all the more! We never know eho God will put in our life
    They could come from any and all religions but the greatest gift of all is still love.

  2. Mary Ellen Ashenfelder says:

    I have been hearing wonderful things about this book. Anxious to read it and “meet” a new author. I knew someone who I thought was a good Christian and found that this person was not who I thought them to be. Prayed that they would find their way back to truth and honesty. Thank you.

  3. Lyn says:

    Brenda, Thanks so much for being my guest. I’ll announce the winner on Monday!

  4. Cindy Yoder says:

    Would love to read your book. It might help me understand what my husband went thru when he left his Old Order Amish family .

  5. Lynn Delay says:

    Would realy like to read this book.After reading so much about the amish there world isnt as perfect as people portray them to be seems like to me there wirld is just like our except the way they dress.transpirtation.daily luvibg.But they still have the problems that we all do on a daily bases ours is just open and u only hear about there problems when they come out in the ones that have left the amish culture.I do realize not every family is like this.

  6. Loretta says:

    Tough question. I could only say that as other christians have dissapointed me I’ve learned that no one can live a perfect christian life, we will dissapoint others, I have dissapointed others, we cannot let things that people do or say cause us to fumble. We are all christians saved by grace.

    • Lyn says:

      I agree. I am human and have disappointed other Christians I’m sure. That makes me forgive others easier. We all make mistakes.

  7. Nancy Koebel says:

    Our library invited Brenda as a speaker last fall and she shared her story. The people who attended were very interested in her story, as the Amish fiction is very popular here, and they wanted to learn more. She has an insight into the culture not many have. She is a very good speaker and I highly recommend her.

    • Brenda Nixon says:

      Aww, you’re kind & thoughtful Nancy. We had a good time at your library with an intrigued and attentive audience. Love it when people want to expand their Amish knowledge.

  8. Lynn Delay says:

    Would love to read this whole book.

  9. Sarah Ayers says:

    You have a heart of gold. I’m reading the book on kindle. I would love to have a signed copy. Next time we come to OhioI hope to come see you and buy one.

    • Brenda Nixon says:

      Oh that’d be great Sarah. I like meeting readers. But you don’t have to wait ’til you come to Ohio. You can get a signed copy of my book by sending $17 to me at: PO Box 1302, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.

  10. Angelika says:

    Congratulations on your book release Brenda! I have enjoyed reading bits a pieces on your blog and posts to Amish Q & A, I feel like I know some of your adopted children now myself. Looking forward to reading your book!

  11. Sunnie says:

    Actually yes, however, I don’t really know that I dealt with it in a particular way. I prayed about it a lot, however.

    • Brenda Nixon says:

      I can relate Sunnie. Prayer keeps me grounded when meeting, talking, or dealing with a Christian who is a stumbling block. Thanks for reading and leaving your comment.
      Feel free to leave me a question about the Amish, too.